RICOTTA AND EGGPLANT PASTA PARMESAN

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

2 lbs. eggplant, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch slices
8 oz. ziti or penne pasta
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped & lightly sautéed in butter until golden
1 cup grated parmesan cheese 
1/2 cup parsley
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cups spaghetti sauce
Salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lightly sprinkle the sliced eggplant with salt on both sides. Lay slices in colander. Cover with paper towel and small weighted plate. Drain for at least half hour until moisture is removed. Rinse slices and dry. Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. Coat the drained eggplant slices with oil and garlic. Sprinkle with pepper to taste. Broil the eggplant slices in oven on both sides till lightly golden, about 5-6 minutes. Mix together ricotta cheese, 1/2 of the parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, pepper flakes, sautéed onion and cooked pasta. In a 2 quart casserole dish, place a thin layer of the tomato sauce, half of the pasta mixture, then half of the eggplant slices. Repeat again starting with tomato sauce layer. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes to brown the top.
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